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Top Things to do in Cardiff, Wales

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Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff, Wales is a prime spot for history and nightlife. Its Cardiff Castle provides nearly 2,000 years of history, while Castell Coch houses gorgeous Victorian furniture and intricate rooms. Perhaps the most popular spot in the city is Cardiff Bay, a waterfront area teeming with late-night opportunity. These attractions plus others make up the top things to do in Cardiff, Wales. Read on to learn more.

Cardiff Bay

Restaurant by Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay is a waterfront area lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. Its freshwater lake, formed by the River Taff and River Ely, is a prime spot for fishing, windsurfing, canoeing, and other watersports. One of the bay's most popular districts is Mermaid Quay, an area with a cinema, a Ferris wheel, international eateries, and appropriate maritime architecture. Its a great spot for an evening stroll, making it one of the top things to do in Cardiff, Wales.

National Museum Cardiff

National Museum Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital of Wales, so it's only right its museum has one of the most impressive collections of Welsh artwork. It also has pieces from Monet, Rodin, and Van Gogh. The museum's other section focuses on natural history, which includes native Welsh animals and a skeleton of the world's largest leatherback turtle.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

The first section of Cardiff Castle was built in 55 AD, making it nearly 2,000 years old. In total, it took around 200 years for the remainder of the medieval fort to be constructed. The castle's Roman walls held strong through the English civil war, World War 2, and numerous other life-altering events. It's broken into several parts, the most famous being the 132-foot, seven-story clock tower. Cardiff Castle is easily identifiable by its red dragon sitting out front.

Castell Coch

Castell Coch in Cardiff

Castell Coch was built in 1875 on the site of an earlier 13th-century castle. Designed by Willam Burges, its interior is decorated with painted walls and Victorian furniture. Among its impressive rooms is the brightly colored banquet hall, the high-ceilinged drawing room, and the bedrooms of Lord and Lady Bute. Sometimes called the Red Castle, it's comprised of three circular towers, a gatehouse, and a shell well.

Cardiff Arcades

High St. Arcade Cardiff

Cardiff is home to many arcades, or unique glass-covered streets full of restaurants and shops. Some of its most popular include High St. Arcade, Morgan Arcade, and Castle Arcade. With Victorian and Edwardian designs, the passageways are as pretty to look at as they are fun to shop in. A trip to at least one of these arcades is one of the top things to do in Cardiff, Wales.

Bute Park

Bute Park is a 130-acre greenspace with magnificent views of Cardiff Castle. While exploring the park, you'll find three cafes and an arboretum. It also has a fun sculpture trail with pieces made out of repurposed trees. Bute Park is a nice place to visit if you need a break from the hustle-and-bustle of the city center and Cardiff Bay.

Where to Stay

It's always fun to incorporate history into your stay. On our trip to Cardiff, we stayed at The Coal Exchange Hotel. Just as its name suggests, it was once a business building used for coal exchange. Hotel Indigo might be better if you're searching for a prime location. This hotel is in the city center and less than 1,000 feet from Cardiff Castle.


Cardiff is a beautiful waterfront city with a lot of Welsh pride. Its ideal visitors are fans of history, architecture, and nightlife. If this sounds good to you, it's time to plan a trip. With the help of this guide, you'll easily enjoy the top things to do in Cardiff, Wales.

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